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A sustainable diet

January 19, 2024

Motivations for adopting a sustainable diet
" Motivation, defined as individuals' choices, intensity, and duration of behaviour, applies not only to environmental decisions but can be easily extended to food consumption "

Around a decade or so ago, awareness noticeably rose regarding the sustainable advantages of reducing meat consumption. A study found that about 40% of individuals cited the perceived environmental impact as a reason for cutting back on meat.

When questioned about the connection between meat consumption and climate change, the number of respondents acknowledging the link increased, forming what researchers called a “halo” effect. This rise in environmental awareness was attributed to heightened health consciousness, economic efficiency, and a desire for healthier eating habits.

Food choices are influenced by health, naturalness, price, and sociability. While these factors align with a willingness to adopt a plant-based diet, many struggle to deviate from established eating rituals in social settings due to concerns about public perception.

As individuals engage in environmentally positive behaviour, regardless of their motivation, they may overcome the need for denial and rationalization, realizing that healthier eating is also more environmentally sustainable.

Motivation, defined as individuals’ choices, intensity, and duration of behaviour, applies not only to environmental decisions but can be easily extended to food consumption.

Egoistic values stem from direct personal impact, altruistic values from one's relevance to others, and biospheric values from concern for ecological systems, nonhuman animals, and plants. Combining these values justifies choices and actions regarding food and its environmental impact.

In the face of daily inundation with choices, people often resort to mental shortcuts for quick decisions, though these may not always reflect motivation or values. Experts caution against relying on these shortcuts as guaranteed indicators of environmental awareness and health goals.

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